Thursday, April 25, 2024

Top Gun Maverick: Memories of Meg Ryan, None of Kelly McGillis, and Lady Gaga at the End


I know everyone is getting ready for the “Top Gun Maverick” reviews. They’re coming tomorrow morning at 9am.

In the meantime, I can tell Lady Gaga fans that you will have to wait through the whole movie for the hit song, “Hold My Hand.” It’s worth it. Despite a source telling me a few weeks ago that the song “comes too late” in the movie, it’s actually right on time. The placement will put a lump in your throat. It also guarantees an Oscar nomination next year for Gaga, if not a win.

The production has said that neither Kelly McGillis nor Meg Ryan, who were in the original movie, were invited back. But you will see nostalgic clips from the first “Top Gun” of Ryan as Carole, from 1986. Ryan had just had her breakthough on “As the World Turns.” By the time “Top Gun” hit, she was off to the races. “Sleepless in Seattle” came in 1989.

McGillis’s Charlie isn’t mentioned, or thought about. There are no clips of her. McGillis went on to big hits with “Witness” and “The Accused,” and worked steadily through the 1990s and 2000s. Over time, she’s slowed down her career. But her role in the first “Top Gun” remains iconic.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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